As the summer heat continues to blaze, the thirst for a cool drink or two is real.
We tried pearl milk teas from five different stores in Metro Manila. With GrabFood and their ever-hard working riders, all of these drinks arrived in less than an hour. Here’s what we got and our thoughts on them, too! (And yes: in an upcoming article, we will feature fruit teas from five other stores, so stay tuned!)
We rate the drinks according to three different characteristics: the packaging/cup, flavor, and of course, the pearls themselves.
1) New Classic: Macao Imperial Tea’s Black Pearl Milk Tea (P110)
Our order from Macao definitely had the most unique and colorful cup. I’m honestly not sure who the cat is, but alright, I guess it looks great!
I ordered the medium-sized, 500 ml Black Pearl Milk Tea, a basic and standard drink, which I personally prefer. (No hate on those who like the unusual flavors, though!) The Grab app also didn’t allow us to indicate a particular sugar level.
Considering the heat and travel time, the flavor wasn’t as strong due to the ice melting. However, what we will say is that the pearls — black pearls — were quite interesting in the sense that they were smaller in size. For a base price of P110, the drink is certainly one you should try, especially if you’re looking to get a “safe” and basic flavor. Here’s what the drink would’ve looked like if the cup was transparent:
2) Tried & Tested: Serenitea’s Hokkaido Milk Tea (P115.50)
Our second drink was Serenitea’s Hokkaido Milk Tea, another one of the classic and more basic milk tea drinks. The cup was short and fat — interesting — and I think the cup was in theme with women’s month last March.
We ordered the medium size with 0% sugar with pearls as the sinker. In terms of flavor, the drink had a stronger tea flavor and the pearls were small and easily chewable. They also had this deep, black color. For a base price of P115.50, this is another recommendation we’d like to make especially for those looking for a classic flavor. Nothing beats simple!
3) Unique Twist: Happy Lemon’s Oreo Milk Tea (P144)
Simple and sturdy in cup, interesting and unusual in flavor! Happy Lemon’s Oreo Milk Tea is, for me at least, not a basic flavor!
I ordered the regular size with 25% sugar. Unlike the basic milk teas, this had a rather strong oreo flavor into it. Imagine yourself drinking classic milk tea, and add a little crushed oreo into it: that’s the flavor of the drink. Blend both combinations together and you get an entirely new drink: Oreo Milk Tea!
Because of that, the puff pearls weren’t really the star of the show. However, I find that completely alright considering the fact that the oreo served a greater role in the drink. For a base price of P144, this is a must-try for those seeking a different type of milk tea!
4) Best Value: Gong Cha’s Milk Tea with Pearl Jelly (P90)
Of the five that I ordered, this was my brother’s personal favorite!
The cup didn’t stand out visually speaking, nor did it stand out in terms of sturdiness. But the flavor did more than enough to compensate. For P90 as a base price for the medium-sized Milk Tea with Pearl Jelly, the flavor was classic, smooth, and simple. Though the Grab app didn’t give an option for me to indicate a sugar level, the drink was neither too sweet nor too tea-like. As described by my brother, the pearls had this “bigger” and “chewey-er” characteristic.
Definitely a must-try in my opinion!
5) Fresh Favorite: White Dragon Taiwan Milk Tea’s Original Taiwan Brown Sugar Pearl Milk with Cream Mousse (P90)
Finally, I tried a rather unique milk tea drink from an equally unique source. I personally never heard of White Dragon Taiwan Milk Tea before and so I decided to try it and go with what seemed to be another basic flavor: Original Taiwan Brown Sugar Pearl Milk with Cream Mousse, with a sugar level of 25%.
Several things made this drink unusual in a welcome way. First, the pearls were incredibly soft and very chewable. They were also medium in size. Second, the drink had a certain taho syrup-like touch to it. Third, I tasted a hint of a certain undissolved solid — probably the brown sugar — giving the drink a very subtle, crunchy texture. I loved it!
For a base price of P90 for its medium size, this is a must-try for sure.
Do you enjoy milk tea or are you a milk tea enthusiast? What are your favorite brands and flavors from GrabFood? Let us know in the comments!
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The author of this article:
Aaron covers topics that range from business and ethics to culture and philosophy. He is currently a CHiNOY TV producer, a Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent, a Philippine Association for Chinese Studies lifetime member, and an Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Studies Program constituent. An occasional TikToker, he also loves Pokémon! Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aaron.joseph.s.medina/